- August 30, 2014
- Posted by: Andrew Easler
- Category: Testing
Everyone has heard about the various ways that are supposed to flush drugs out of your system quickly so that you can pass a drug test. Probably no one has become more adept over the years at creative cheating than truck drivers.
A news report broadcast by 620 WTMJ News in Wisconsin talked about a few of the ways that truckers have tried to get “clean” test results, and why even the most creative cheaters can’t quite manage it. For every cheater out there, there’s a qualified drug or alcohol test technician who knows what they’re up to, and a lab that’s likely to get the jump on them.
The Biggest Red Flag
How do you identify a legitimate urine sample? According to David Wagner of Options lab, it’s all in the temperature. Even if the subject isn’t being tested under rigorous DOT mandated conditions, which are practically impossible to circumvent, there’s one thing that’s almost equally hard to fake – temperature.
A fresh urine sample that’s just been provided should be somewhere between 94 and 96 degrees. Synthetic urine, which you can buy on line and which is, by the way, entirely legal, isn’t going to pass the temp test. Neither is a non-using friend’s urine that’s been smuggled in.
A hair sample won’t tell you if a test subject has been using recently – you need a urine test for that. But it will identify lifestyle abusers, and most trucking companies won’t hire them. A hair test will identify chronic abusers about ten times more often than urine testing. It’s also even harder to fake a hair test than it is a urine test, because the collector clips the hair directly off the head of the subject to be tested – there’s no possibility of tampering. Hair testing is, however, extremely expensive, and Options typically does only about 5 in any given month, as opposed to 2,000 urine tests.
Right now, in the trucking industry, urine testing is mandated by the DOT. Hair testing isn’t recognized. Some trucking companies, however, are pushing to have hair testing recognized, so that they have better opportunities of weeding out undesirable drivers.
You Can’t Fool the DOT
The protocol for collecting urine under DOT regulations requires a qualified, trained tester. Because of the standards in place, the likelihood of a trucker being able to fool the DOT is practically non-existent. That’s not to say that they don’t try. But when you’re under constant supervision, using a system of checks and balances that are taught in recognized courses required for DOT drug and alcohol test technicians, the chances of managing it are slim to none. There’s simply no better training or testing method available than a DOT urine test, so technicians are going to have stellar employment opportunities for many years to come.